Efforts to improve physician education and patient safety often start by gathering data about when and where housestaff are engaging in direct patient care, administrative work, and learning activities. But the information from these self- or observer-reporting surveys is inherently unreliable, meaning that any conclusions based on its interpretation are faulty, and interventions to improve housestaff experience are unlikely to succeed.
This proposal entails using existing technology that monitors the 3-dimensional position of a tracking chip to perform anonymized real-time analysis of Medicine housestaff location. In the initial phase, data on location will be quantified, including time spent in patient rooms, work areas, and conferences. This information will then be used to design prospective controlled trials of interventions aimed at improving housestaff efficiency, increasing time for learning, and enhancing patient safety.
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